Use skills to make happy art – Guyanese artist, Earl Speid
By Stacey Bess
March 5, 2006
`Being an artist is the road least travelled. It is filled with many adversities and struggles. However, I encourage all those who consider themselves artists and those who merely believe that they are artistic in some way to keep making art that makes them happy.’ - Earl Speid
AT AGE 26, Earl Speid is moving steadily towards the acclaim of a contemporary class act in the field of art.
Last week, he told the Sunday Chronicle that he believes that “if you are happy doing something enjoyable it eventually has a positive effect on your life and those around you.”
“Being an artist is the road least travelled. It is filled with many adversities and struggles. However, I encourage all those who consider themselves artists and those who merely believe that they are artistic in some way to keep making art that makes them happy,” he said.
The joyful consequence of his choice of an artistic career has indeed not only become a pillar of his own happiness but also the boast of his family. One of his sisters, Prescella Speid introduced him as an inspiring Guyanese who has used his skills to create, inspire and educate individuals of all cultures.
Earl Speid is a Guyanese who migrated in 1995 to New Jersey, United States of America, and is fortifying himself as a professional artist.
Building on the fundamental tenets imparted at a Burrowes School of Art summer programme in Guyana, Speid obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration with a minor in Animation in 2002 from the Parson’s New School of Design. He is now attending Kean University in New Jersey reading for a Master of Arts (MA) Education with a teacher’s certification.
Earl Speid is by no means a mundane, one-medium specialist. His artistic vibrancy encompasses art and craft, mural painting, animation, life drawing, web designing and graphic designing that puts him the realm of a truly multi-dimensional artist.
Articulating on his knack for variation he said, “Art is often formed out of necessity… My method of working is similarly derived from situations that compel me to change or develop a new way of working.”
His super creative charge, he says, was influenced primarily by historical works of art by artistic elites such as Michelangelo and Vincent Van Gogh and began to sizzle during his pre-adolescent years.
Speid was born in Guyana to Jeanne Dublin Speid, a Guyanese, and Jamaican Earl Speid senior. He grew up at Friendship, East Bank Demerara, in a family of six children – four sisters, one brother and himself.
“Having such a large family inspired exploration in guided play, such as using bamboo to make a play house and coconut branches for the roof. I enjoyed playing with (these) common place objects found outdoors such as clay, leaves, twigs, rocks, and sand,” Speid recalled.
At the urging of his parents, Speid relocated to America. His parents felt that he would have greater educational opportunities in the US. And he has acknowledged that his art training has helped to sharpen his natural ability.
As he currently pursues his masters in arts education K-12 (nursery to high school) he is exposed to sensorial approach to teaching art which allows students to access more authentic artwork, or artwork that is relative to personal experiences, “such as, what one does on a rainy day, what one feels waking up or going to bed at night, or emotions felt on a rollercoaster ride.”
Mr. Speid works as a freelance artist and an independent contractor marketing his work mainly through his website, www.earlspeid.com, business associates and business cards. He says that most of his jobs come from client referrals and people who have seen him working on the spot.
He is planning to visit his homeland Guyana in May this year. He has begun to consider mounting an exhibition in Guyana in the near future.